"CANCUN -- U.N. climate talks enter into their final phase today as South African President Jacob Zuma joins world leaders to address prospects for a global warming agreement many here hope will be signed in South Africa next year.
U.S. Special Envoy Todd Stern and other negotiators met behind closed doors for a session that lasted well past midnight. The Mexican president of the 16th Conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change declared that work would wrap up by early Friday evening, though veterans of the treaty process familiar with the dizzying final hours of talks that often extend into the weekend, were skeptical.
As of yesterday afternoon, negotiators had made only incremental progress amid a backdrop of powerful speeches from ministers urging immediate action to curb greenhouse gas emissions. "They've been hammering away at different fronts, making progress in some," said Alden Meyer, director of policy and strategy for the Union of Concerned Scientists."
Lisa Friedman reports for ClimateWire December 9, 2010.